What’s A Breast Cancer Rash: How To Spot and Treat It

What's A Breast Cancer Rash: How To Spot and Treat It

Whenever we hear the term breast cancer, the first thing that comes to mind is a palpable, firm lump. But this type of breast cancer and IBC or inflammatory breast cancer is different. This aggressive and rare cancer makes up around 1% to 5% of all breast cancer cases.

This cancer comes with breast cancer rash and makes the breast skin look like the following.

  • Thick,
  • Swollen.
  • Bruised.
  • Shades of purple, pink, or red.
  • Pitted or dimpled, similar to the appearance and texture of an orange peel.

Breast cancer rash is actually a matter of concern as we do not consider it a sign of breast cancer and consider it a skin issue. That is why proper knowledge is required. Here, in this article, I will talk about breast cancer rash and other things you should know about.

What Does Breast Cancer Rash Look Like?

What Does Breast Cancer Rash Look Like?
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You have never heard that rashes are a common symptom of cancer. In case you have a breast cancer rash, it is a sign of inflammatory breast cancer or breast’s Paget’s disease. Both of these are rare conditions and are actually challenging to diagnose because there are no lumps.

In most cases, lumps are considered the main symptom of cancer. But in both of the above-mentioned cases, you might not encounter any lump. Instead of that, you might have a rash on your breast.

IBC Or Inflammatory Breast Cancer Rash

IBC Or Inflammatory Breast Cancer Rash
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Inflammatory Breast Cancer is an aggressive and rare cancer that typically affects women who have dense breast tissue. Here, the symptoms might include the following.

  • Reddish-purple, pink, or bruised skin.
  • A rapid increase in breast size or, in some cases, breast. Cancer solely or along with increasing breast size.
  • A rash appeared swollen and red.
  • Breast feeling tender, burning, or heavy.

Paget’s Disease

Paget's Disease
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This is a particular disease of the nipple. This specific rare condition is related to breast cancer, and that is why it is considered a breast cancer rash. The symptoms that it shows can be mistakes for eczema or dermatitis. Here are the symptoms.

  • Flattened nipple.
  • Thickened, crusty, flaky, red, or scaly skin around the areola and nipple.
  • Red spots on the breast.
  • Red nipple.
  • Itchiness, burning, inflammation, or soreness.
  • Bloody or yellowish discharge.

Some Other Causes Of Breast Rash

Apart from the breast cancer rash and the above-mentioned health conditions, there are other conditions that also can cause a breast rash. But the good news is that these breast rashes are not related to breast cancer.


Inflammation of the breast or Mastitis often occurs due to a particular infection. Commonly it affects all those breastfeeding women when any of the milk ducts become blocked. Also, those women who are not breastfeeding can get affected along with men.

Here are the main symptoms of Mastitis.

  • Redness.
  • Warmth.
  • Swelling.
  • Pain.


Intertrigo can be the reason behind infections. It’s an inflammatory rash that occurs along the skin fold, such as the breasts. Friction, lack of ventilation, and moisture can cause inflammation.

Also, friction can result in the skin breaking down, along with becoming super susceptible to bacterial or fungal infections. Here are the major symptoms of it.

  • Buring, stinging sensation, or itchiness.
  • Scaly, red skin.


Herpes zoster is the medical name for shingles. It is a condition that is the result of the chickenpox virus.

This is a specific type of virus that can remain inactive in the body, and later in life, it can reactivate. Shingles can also result in a rash, which might affect the breast and chest area. But it is different from breast cancer rash.

Here are the symptoms of shingles.

  • Pain.
  • Rash with blisters,
  • Itchy, painful, or tingling skin.
  • Headache.
  • Chills or fever.
  • Upset stomach.


Any type of allergic reaction is typically a response to food, pollen, or medicine. However, it also can occur as the result of some other particular triggers when an individual is exposed to the allergen that can cause hives to have effective breasts and chest.

Here are some symptoms of allergies.

  • Itchy skin.
  • Raised, red bumps or welts.

Breast Cancer Symptoms

Breast Cancer Symptoms
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Apart from breast cancer rash, breast cancer has several other symptoms that can be different for different individuals. There are also some people who are asymptomatic and also show now or limited symptoms initially.

Here are the symptoms of breast cancer.

  • Changes in breast shape and size.
  • Swelling or thickening near or in the armpit or breast.
  • New lump in the armpit or breast.
  • Puckering, dimpling, and irritation of the skin.
  • Flaky, red, scaly, or swollen skin in the breast area or in the nipple.
  • Other than breast milk, nipple discharge includes blood.
  • Pulling in the nipple.
  • Pain in specifically the nipple area or anywhere on the breast.

Always remember all these symptoms also can be signs of different conditions. That is why, whenever you get a breast cancer rash or any other symptoms, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional without wasting any more time.

Know The Risk Factors

Know The Risk Factors
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When we are talking about breast cancer, it is important to know the risk factors of breast cancer so that you can take precautionary measures and stay safe.

Honestly, several factors might contribute to the risk of developing cancer and lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors as well. Here are the major risk factors you need to keep a check on.

  • Age.
  • History of non-cancerous breast diseases, along with breast cancer.
  • Genetic changes or mutations also include the change in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
  • Genetic predisposition or any type of family history of ovarian or breast cancer.
  • Dense breast tissue, which means breasts with more connective tissue in comparison to fatty tissue.
  • A history of radiation therapy to the breast or chest.
  • After menopause having excess weight or obesity.
  • Not staying physically active.
  • Drinking alcohol.
  • Using any type of hormone therapy in order to treat menopause symptoms.
  • Reproductive history, which also has increased exposure to estrogen, like early

Who Is At Risk?

Breast cancer rash is a sign of inflammatory breast cancer. It can occur in women of any age. Inflammatory breast cancer is one of those breast cancers that is known to affect people who are younger than 40 years.

However, the average age of diagnosis is around 52 years. Apart from that, here are some things that you should know.

  • It has been seen that black women are at higher risk of this cancer in comparison to white women.
  • People with excessive weight always possess an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • As I have mentioned earlier, there is a genetic link present, like BRCA2 and BRCA1 gene mutations, which increase the likelihood of other breast cancers.

To Conclude

So, you get all the necessary information about breast cancer and breast cancer rash. So, in case you experience red nipples, hot nipples, or rashes under the breast, it is best to consult with your doctor immediately, as these can be the signs of inflammatory breast cancer.

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